Reykjavik

Clean, green and captivating, the colourful port of Reykjavik is one of Europe's most enchanting cities.

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The world's northernmost national capital offers stunning views, a thriving arts scene and a warm welcome that belies its subarctic climate. A beautiful skyline, dramatic coast and rich cultural heritage come together in a city that also makes an ideal gateway to Iceland's glaciers, geysers and lava fields.

Arriving at Reykjavik–Keflavik Airport

Direct flights depart London City Airport for Keflavik International Airport, which lies about 30 miles (50km) west of capital Reykjavik on the northern tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Short runways at the more central Reykjavik Airport mean it is only used by domestic carriers.

Built as a military airfield, Keflavik International Airport has three runways, two of which are currently in use. The passenger terminal – named after Norse explorer Leif Erikson – has been extended several times since opening in 1987, and received awards for its bright décor and range of facilities, which include an impressive range of shops and free unlimited Wi-Fi.

There is currently no rail link between the airport and Reykjavik, so all onward transfers are by road. Bus options include the Airport Express and FlyBus services, which depart between 30 and 45 minutes after each scheduled flight arrival. Drop-offs can be arranged for all major hotels in the capital, but you'll need to book in advance.

Several taxi companies operate from the airport, and you can pick up a hire car – book in advance with London City Airport.

Nightlife

Downtown Reykjavik

The capital's nightlife revolves around the youthful, vibrant Downtown district. There's no shortage of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues on the trendy Laugavegur shopping street, while the neighbouring Hverfisgata offers a lively, albeit gentler alternative. There are few nightclubs to choose from, but many of 101's bars double up as dance venues.

Attend a Harpa concert

Reykjavik is proud of its Harpa concert hall, a bold 21st-century addition to the skyline and cultural landscape. The modernist structure, with its coloured glass façade, is beautifully illuminated under lights after dusk. Inside the hall, you'll find everything from opera and ballet to jazz and electronica. Even if you don't have tickets for a performance, it's still worth heading down to the harbour to look around.

Time for a pint

For much of the 20th century, you couldn't order a pint in Iceland. Prohibition was enforced between 1915 and 1989, meaning beer was completely off-limits, but today it's a different story. The capital has a developing taste for craft lager, which capably complements the Víking, Gull and Carlsberg standards. Reykjavik bars offer an impressive range of beers, but be aware – you may pay handsomely for the privilege.